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"Infected" kicks the rejuvenated show into overdrive, skillfully contrasting big horror-action set pieces with intimate character development.
We might get cranky over how dumb these people tend to be about their safety, but that's because we're rooting for them to survive.
[The creators] have managed to make Rick, Carl, Michonne, and even Beth all more worthy of the audience's consideration by underlining how their collective experience has made them hesitant to become emotionally invested in anyone or anything.
We had the creepiness of zombies in prison showers and wandering the halls of Cell Block D. We had a tearful goodbye to dad (we hardly knew you).
"Infected" was another successful episode in this rejuvenated (albeit young) fourth season, just different enough from The Walking Dead's raw formula to make the show feel new again.
Despite the quality of the overall acting, the best fundamental of the episode was that the havoc was wreaked by the actions (or lack thereof) of the characters themselves.
We're once again dealing with some level of human-on-human plotting, since someone is baiting the walkers, and hopefully when we find out who it is, it's someone I will recognize, be able to name and perhaps identify one or two behavioral characteristics
Welcome to episode 2 of the fourth season where everything is terrible and the points don't matter! The Walkers scare me to no end, but this mysterious traitor is even more sinister.
Minor complaints aside, "Infected" achieves the difficult balance of traversing various narrative threads while maintaining a powerful emotional focus.
The aim of this week's episode was to tear all of that [normalcy established in the previous episode] down and plunge the prison into chaos. That's bad news for the gang, but great news for us.
"Infected" brings the first major threat out into the open.
In episode 2, we see a whole new side of the show's greatest warrior [Michonne].
It's another example of the show's ability this year to contrast the big, set-piece zombie attacks with small, intimate stories that really illustrate the human toll of this horror story, and it shows off the depth of storytelling that's being presented.